The Dire State of Local Media
It's not looking good.
One big thing: The state of local media
The Wall Street Journal released a well-reported story on the struggle facing local news and its gloom future. We all know that local news is struggling to adapt in the digital landscape, but to see it laid out in the Wall Street Journal full of graphs and charts makes you go “wow.”
Some big highlights
A future without local media?
“It’s hard to see a future where newspapers persist,” said Nicco Mele, director of the Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, who predicts that half of the surviving newspapers will be gone by 2021.
Meanwhile, local news publishers are struggling against Google and Facebook’s ad power:
While Google and Facebook have siphoned ad dollars away from all publishers, local news publishers have been the hardest hit. The tech giants suck up 77% of the digital advertising revenue in local markets, compared to 58% on a national level, according to estimates from Borrell Associates and eMarketer.
There’s a future in subscriptions, but it may not work for everyone:
…bigger outlets have been much more efficient at converting online readers into paying digital subscribers than local publishers.
There is much, much more to dig into in that article, from the disappearance of local newspapers and the lack of online-only sites appearing, to grants in local media. The whole story is absolutely worth your attention.
What I’m Reading
“This world is just falling apart”: How actual news consumers grapple with fake news and (sometimes) tune out » Nieman Journalism Lab
“Even facts are opinions.”
Study: Major media outlets' Twitter accounts amplify false Trump claims on average 19 times a day
Trump makes false claims frequently, and the media outlet Twitter feeds we studied frequently repeat his lies.
In pivoting to paid, publishers run into tech headaches - Digiday
It took years for publishers to figure out what they needed to have in their advertising stack. A similar process has begun on the consumer revenue side.
How major storms alter the local news landscape - Columbia Journalism Review
Outlets don’t only lose staff members to fear of future storms. In some cases, a skilled reporter’s coverage of the disaster can attract offers from higher-paying outlets.
Verizon Looks to Unload Tumblr Blogging Site - WSJ
Verizon is seeking a buyer for blogging website Tumblr as it tries to steady a media unit that has struggled to meet revenue targets.
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